August 21, 2013

Details hazy in shooting of worker at Maine egg farm

A 57-year-old man was killed by a fellow employee who was shooting at rodents and stray chickens at the Moark Egg Farm in Turner.

By David Hench dhench@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

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A truck passes a large barn at Moark Egg Farm in Turner on Tuesday, August 20, 2013, a day after a man was accidentally shot and killed by a co-worker who was shooting rodents and stray chickens.

Gabe Souza / Staff Photographer

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Deputy Maine Attorney General in charge of the criminal division, William Stokes, briefed the assembled media at Moark Egg Farm in Turner on Tuesday, August 20, 2013, regarding the Monday incident in which a man was accidentally shot and killed at the farm by a co-worker who was shooting rodents and stray chickens.

Gabe Souza / Staff Photographer

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The men may have been working together in one area of the building and then moved on to other tasks, Stokes said.

"The person who may have discharged the weapon may not have even known what happened until police started to re-create the sequence of events," Stokes said. That makes it more difficult to determine where the men were and what they were doing when the fatal shot was fired.

The shot could have ricocheted off the floor or a metal surface inside the building, he said.

The man who fired the rifle has been cooperative, Stokes said. He is not under arrest and was not asked to remain in Maine.

The Office of the State Medical Examiner was to conduct an autopsy Tuesday, but Stokes said he asked that the manner of death not be released yet.

Moark, based in Fontana, Calif., is a major producer of fresh eggs and egg products. The farms have about 3.6 million laying hens and contribute to Maine's standing as the largest producer of brown eggs in the nation, according to a state press release issued when Moark took over the Turner farms. Moark Egg Farm announced in 2011 that it had agreed to a long-term lease arrangement to operate three Maine egg farms formerly run by DeCoster: Quality Egg of New England in Turner, Dorothy Egg Farm in Leeds and Mountain Hollow Farms in Winthrop. The farms were raided several times and were the subject of lawsuits over working conditions when former owner Jack DeCoster ran the industrial egg production enterprise. After relinquishing the farms in Maine, DeCoster focused on his Midwest operations.

David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

dhench@pressherald.com

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Additional Photos

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State police investigators and Deputy Attorney General William Stokes met with officials from Moark Egg Farm at its Turner location Tuesday, August 20, 2013, after a man was accidentally shot and killed by a co-worker who was shooting rodents and stray chickens.

Gabe Souza

  


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